Call for entries for the Incinerator Art Award 2021 will open Saturday, 1 May to Sunday, 30 May

The Incinerator Art Award is the Incinerator Gallery’s annual contemporary art prize inspired by the theme of art for social change.

In light of the profound impact of the COVID-19 virus and the affect that current global events are having on Australian visual artists, we have adjusted Incinerator Art Award 2020. This year it is easier to apply (and free!) and we are providing significant opportunities for future display of artworks at the gallery.

About the Incinerator Art Award

Incinerator Art Award (IAA) is Incinerator Gallery’s annual art award and exhibition. Established in 2015, IAA celebrates contemporary arts practices that are socially engaged, environmentally aware, and seek to enrich community through dynamic, creative practice.

This nationally recognised award demonstrates the value and virtue art delivers to a contemporary Australian audience, underpinning Incinerator Gallery as a vital space for pluralistic, poetic and political discourse.

IAA is an inclusive and diverse exhibition that celebrates the vibrancy of community within and beyond Moonee Valley. In 2021, IAA will continue to present critical, ambitious and experimental practices, and will offer an engaged and educative program encompassing visual art, film, performance, writing, architecture and design. 

IAA pays homage to Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony—the progressive architects who collaboratively designed the Essendon Incinerator in 1929 – 30—who believed that art and architecture are ethical enterprises that should aim to bring about positive social change.

Key Dates

Key dates to be announced soon.


Prizes to be announced soon.

A People’s Choice Award of $1,000 will also be awarded to one recipient at the close of the exhibition.

Selection criteria and entry conditions


  • Artworks submitted should demonstrate a belief that cultural and creative expression can be used as a means to affect deep and lasting social change.
  • Applications should consider the IAA prize and the potential for a solo exhibition, however the submitted works will be not judged solely on this merit.
    Short-listed works will demonstrate a relationship to the theme of the award, ‘Art for Social Change’.
  • The Selection Panel will consist of two Incinerator Gallery staff and external panelists from Australian contemporary arts organisations. The Selection Panel will grade artworks independently, based on the response to the theme ‘art for social change.’
  • Applications will be critiqued on communication, quality, and content. The application will also be considered artistic and ethical merit, achievability of installation and additional support material supplied by the artist.


  • Entry is open to artists living and working in Australia.
  • Artists must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
  • Indoor, outdoor and performance works are accepted, the gallery can accommodate a variety of sizes and media.
  • Outdoor works must be able to withstand all climatic conditions.
  • Performance works must be able to be judged based on documentation, video footage or photographs. Performance-based application should outline equipment required, space, duration and scheduling of performance, i.e. will your performance occur for judging, how often will performance run throughout IAA.
  • Works must be completed at the time of your submission.
  • Works must be completed by a living artist in the last 5 years.
  • Works must not have won other art prizes or awards.
  • Moonee Valley City Council Employees and Volunteers, or their family members, relatives or household members are ineligible to enter.


  • Please note, the Incinerator Gallery is hopeful to have the exhibition displayed in the gallery space, however this is dependent on government restrictions on social gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the format of the exhibition of the Incinerator Art Award entries is subject to change (in gallery or online exhibitions are possible) and all successful finalists will be kept updated on how their works will be displayed as information comes to light.
  • The exhibition is curated by Incinerator Gallery, who have final say over inclusion of works.
  • The layout of the exhibition is determined by Incinerator Gallery, if the artist has site specific work they must make it known in their application.
  • The artist is responsible for the packaging and transportation of the work to and from the gallery.
  • The work must be delivered and collected from the Gallery within the time period set by the Incinerator Gallery.
  • Incinerator Gallery will install and de-install the work, unless the artist specifies otherwise.
  • Installing and de-installing must be completed within the time period specified by the Incinerator Gallery.
  • The artist is responsible for providing the equipment required to exhibit the work unless otherwise stated. Where possible, video-based works are encouraged to supply their own monitors – please outline in your application.
  • All artworks and equipment must complete with Moonee Valley City Council OH&S standards.
  • All shortlisted works will be insured for loss or damage by Moonee Valley City Council for the period of the exhibition.
  • Moonee Valley City Council will not be responsible for works not collected within the time period specified by the Incinerator Gallery unless by prior arrangement.


  • The artist will include in this application a high-resolution image (at least 1600 pixels wide at 300DPI) of the entered work with your entry.
    It is recognised that authorship and copyright of works entered belongs to the artist.
  • Short-listed artists give permission for Moonee Valley City Council to use images of entered work for marketing purposes associated with Incinerator Art Award and Incinerator Gallery for five years from the date of entry.
  • Short-listed artists may be required to submit a short video talking about their submissions connection to the theme of art for social change for an online campaign
  • The artist will be attributed to the work when reasonably possible wherever the image and video/s is reproduced.


  • Judges are selected by Incinerator Gallery. It is ensured that judges have the appropriate credentials to make a critical assessment of the entries.
  • Incinerator Gallery shortlists works based on the selection criteria and exhibition rationale outlined above.
  • Incinerator Gallery reserves the right to accept or reject any works submitted for consideration on any grounds.
  • All decisions are final and individual feedback is not provided on outcomes.


  • Entries to Incinerator Art Award 2021 incur a $30 fee.
    Artists may submit one work per entry.
  • Submissions will only be accepted via the online form before midnight 30 May 2021.
  • All information upon submission of the application must be true; incorrect information may deem short-listed works ineligible.

If you still have questions about the Incinerator Art Award please contact the Incinerator Gallery at or on 03 8325 1750.